Arkansas passes a law requiring that abortion providers offer to show clients an ultrasound.
Link courtesy of Diotima's Sara who says that she is studying the foundations of western jurisprudence and is therefore too busy to comment. If blogging had existed when I was in college, I would not have a degree.
As you might imagine, some women change their minds and keep their child after they see these ultrasounds. Clearly, ultrasound imagery played a vital role in their informed consent.
Others who see the ultrasound go ahead with the abortion and that ultrasound can haunt them.
That's no reason to withhold information that is a vital part of truly informed consent.
The thing is, eventually your average woman is going to see pictures of fetal development, or ultrasound pictures of someone else's baby, or maybe even an ultrasound of a future pregnancy of her own. In other words, our world is such that she can hardly be shielded forever from the fact that it wasn't a blob of cells.
I know a woman who passed out when she was shown an ultrasound photograph of a pregnancy she kept. She told me, "That's the day it hit me."
Far better to see that ultrasound before it's too late. If I were a state legislator, I would advocate legislation that required that the ultrasound machines used by the abortion providers be those expensive new ones that provide full color, 3-dimensional imagery and I'd even be willing to have the state pay for them.